“People used to describe sexual issues as sins,” producer and activist Andrea James told MTV News. “Then they described them as diseases. Now they describe them as traits (who you are) or behaviors (what you do). An important goal with language is to find the most value-neutral way to describe something, so we don’t color people’s ideas simply by how we talk about it.”
“Because of its history as a slur,” Andrea James said, “Some people don’t like the word ‘Queer,’ and they don’t think it can be reclaimed, but others feel it describes them and their community well. Another term some people use as an identity is Genderqueer, to specify that their queerness is not about sexuality, but specifically about gender identity and expression.” Genderqueer people may not identify as male or female, but as neither, both, or a blend.
“Most people don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or look dumb, so they worry about saying the wrong thing,” Andrea James told MTV News. “But no one is perfect. We all sometimes say things by accident that hurt someone else. If it’s truly an accident, most people will accept a sincere apology from you.”